The creamsicle might have begun as a childhood sweet on a stick, but its base flavors can become a very adult beverage: Bright orangecello laced with vanilla beans. It’s time to get squeezing.
A few tips to keep in mind when preparing vanilla-orangecello:
- Select thick-skinned, organic oranges that don’t have wax and pesticides on the peel.
- If you can’t find organic fruit, wash and scrub lemons with hot water before peeling.
- Use high-proof alcohol like 100-proof vodka or even Everclear—higher proof means a better infusion.
- Avoid peeling the bitter white pith of the citrus, use only the peel itself.
- Keep the in-process infusion in a cool dark place.
- Start with one cup of sweetener, then taste before adding more.
Now, how to drink it? Traditionally, straight from the freezer. It benefits from a strong, frosty chill. Drink it as an after-dinner palate cleanser or marry it with gin. It never resists a dance with bubbles either,and can even be served drizzled over fruit and ice cream.
- 7 Large Oranges
- 2 Vanilla beans, split open
- 1 bottle 100-proof vodka
- 1 cup Simple syrup
Use a vegetable peeler or zester to remove the peels from all of the oranges, avoiding peeling the bitter white pith. Place the orange peels and vanilla beans in a large jar and cover with alcohol. Allow to steep for one week somewhere dark, like a closet or cabinet.
Strain the infused vodka into a large bowl and discard the orange peels and vanilla beans. Add one cup of simple syrup to the vodka and stir. Taste for sweetness, adding more simple syrup as desired. Use a funnel to bottle the vanilla-orangecello and set aside in a dark area for one more week for the flavor to mellow. Chill thoroughly in the freezer before serving.